Who Makes the Better Burger: S.F.'s Super Duper Burger or Oakland's True Burger?

Kate Williams
Super Duper Burger's cheese burger comes complete with sustainable beef.
Chances are, most of us have enjoyed our fair share of fast food burgers, whether they be the objects of a late-night McDonald's craving (don't deny it) or the lauded prize at the end of a pilgrimage to In-N-Out. The growth of smaller-scale burger franchises and food trucks has made it easier than ever to land a tasty burger. These restaurants often source higher-quality products, making them even more desirable than, say, In-N-Out, but their slim, juicy patties, generous dollops of mayonnaise-based special sauces, and fluffy white buns make them just as satisfying as their less-noble predecessors.

Outposts of small burger chains dot the Bay Area. Two of the best are San Francisco's Super Duper Burger, located in the Castro, Downtown, the Marina, and the Financial District; and Uptown Oakland's True Burger. But who slings the better burger? We stopped in to both to find out.

See also: Who Makes a Better Burrito: S.F.'s Taqueria Cancun or the East Bay's La Mission?
Super Duper Burger: The Burger Stand Evolves
Super Duper Burger's Got Big Plans

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Pal's Takeaway is Branching Into Burgers

The excellent 24th Street sandwich shop Pal's Takeaway is branching into burgers. We've gotten word that a new menu will debut Thursday, and will then be offered on Wednesdays a couple of days a month at La Movida, the sandwichery's newish home.

The burgers themselves -- made with a blend of Marin Sun Farms brisket, chuck, short rib, and a few more secret ingredients that proprietor Jeff Mason wouldn't disclose -- that sound pretty fantastic. The Pal's burger comes with house pimento cheddar, roasted cherry tomatoes, greens, and secret sauce; there's also one with French feta, spring onion, greens, and secret sauce, and a version with just greens and mayo ($11-$12).

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Umami Burger Releases $65 Truffle Burger

Umami Burger
If money ain't a thang, then this burger is calling yo' name.
Just when we thought $13 for a burger was steep, Umami Burger in the SoMa went and released its M.N.O. (Money's No Object) burger as part of its annual truffle menu.
Along with the slew of high rises breaking ground near the waterfront end of the SoMa, the $65 M.N.O. is breaking new ground on burger prices. But if money ain't a thang, then this burger is callin' yo name.

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Pop-Up Planner, Oct. 29- Nov. 5: KronnerBurger's Last Month, Tongue Confit and Prosciutto-Filled Pasta

The salty and rare goodness that is the KronnerBurger.
Your weekly guide to SF's best pop-ups and temporary restaurants.

When: Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 6 p.m. - 2 a.m.
The Rundown: The burger pop-up in the dark side room of the Mission club will turn off its grills after a year come Nov. 22. But don't count them out for good: Chef Chris Kronner is reportedly in the works of locking down an Oakland location. While it's still around, catch the salty and rare bliss that is the KronnerBurger accompanied by fries with beef cheek gravy. Before you head home, guzzle the grease down with a glass of their Scotcholate milk.

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Sam's Burger Still Going Strong after 47 Years

Rhys Alvarado
His name's Mike, not Sam.
Usually when I'm looking for late-night eats in North Beach I make my way to My Canh, where I satisfy the rice-mongering Filipino in me at a table alone, inhaling a fried pork chop plate topped with a runny egg. But on nights I feel like some conversation at the counter, I head to Sam's for a burger.

If you've been here before, you'd know that the guy commanding the grill in a black cap isn't Sam. He's Mike.

Since 1970, Mike Shawa has been called Sam, after his uncle who first opened the burger counter in 1966. Sam was the first Palestinian transplant that brought Shawa and eventually 50 other family members to San Francisco.

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Pop-Up Planner, Oct. 8-15: Juicy Burgers, Tequila-Braised Rabbit, and Rich Pork Ramen

Wes Rowe
Wesburger's upscale spin on Jack in the Box's "Hot Mess" Burger.

When: Sundays beginning Oct. 13, 6-10 p.m.
Where: Mr. Pollo
The rundown: Wes Rowe's burger pop-up Wesburger has joined forces with Mr. Pollo in the Mission. This week, Rowe will be putting a spin on Jack in the Box's "Hot Mess" burger with Panorama buns, ground brisket patties topped with beer battered onion rings, queso cheese sauce, and pickled jalapenos. A vegetarian patty option is always available.

You can also see Rowe in action earlier that day during brunch at Virgil's Sea Room (1-5 p.m.), where he'll be slinging breakfast tacos made from his 18-hour smoked brisket, along with a smoked veggie breakfast taco, pumpkin spice waffles with bourbon-apple cream cheese glaze, and his eponymous burger with an optional egg on it.

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San Francisco's Most Extreme Burgers

Categories: City of Burgers

Facebook/Wild Hare
Wild Hare's Deluxe Burger: Two comfort foods for the price of one.
By now Paula Dean's "Lady's Brunch Burger" (aka a beef patty wedged between two glazed doughnuts) is old news. Social media buzz about a ramen burger made with fried ramen noodles instead of a bun, apparently all the rage in Japan and debuting at Williamsburg's Smorgasburg this weekend, got us thinking about all the other wild and wonderful directions that restauranteurs have taken America's greatest contribution to food.

See also: Kronnerburger: Succumbing to the Cult of the Burger

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The Best Burger in the Mission Right Now

Mary Ladd
Smoked Meatloaf Sandwich on Texas Toast
Burger hunger games generally start with the basics: find red meat between bread. Province of the meat, prep method and fat content are open for debate -- wide, wide open -- and texture is ever important. Eyes are politely averted from folks who insist on Protein Style or order medium well on this quest, although queries around granulation are welcomed.

Of late in the Mission, the best burger is not a burger but more of the beef burger's saucy sassy cousin, hidden in plain sight at Hi-Lo BBQ. Chef Ryan Ostler's meatloaf sandwich is a square-shaped beef marvel that combines two thinly sliced smoked meatloaf patties made with American Kobe beef and the chopped fatty end of the brisket.

See also: Hi-Lo BBQ: San Francisco Gets Its Own Barbecue

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Original Joe's Brings Its Vaunted Burger To The Ballpark

Categories: City of Burgers

origiinal joes burger.jpg
Alex Hochman
Scanning over the Giants' pre-season press release, the mention of a new Original Joe's burger being served at AT&T Park drew my ire. Why would a vaunted institution like Original Joe's lend its name to what was sure to be a pale imitation of a local classic? My suspicions amplified during Monday night's game, when I had to hunt down the burger at a semi-hidden Derby Grill stand next to the mini-ballpark behind the left field bleachers. Were the Giants already hiding this thing? Then came the sight of six sedentary burgers under heat lamps. I almost bee-lined my way back to the safe haven of the gourmet sausage kiosk, which serves my go-to kielbasa.

See also: The New Original Joe's: Nostalgia Without Kitsch

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Brunch is Best At The Expanded Naked Lunch

The Dapper Diner
Naked Lunch's superlative burger.
At the start of the year, Ryan Maxey and chef Ian Begg decided it was time to make a change to Txoko, their North Beach Spanish tapas restaurant located in the heart of strip club row on Broadway. Closing the restaurant down, the duo replaced the space with a much more relaxed pub and grill, extending their revered North Beach sandwich shop, Naked Lunch, into the spot. It's a very distinct conceptual change from Txoko, with two billiard tables, a Pop-A-Shot basketball arcade game, counter ordering service (a fact I wish was made more prominent upon entry), and an all day menu.

See also: Naked Lunch Expands Into Txoko Space
Naked Lunch Now Serves a Burger -- and Dinner

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